Pack Lids as fanny packs

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Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 33 total)
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    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mojave Desert

    This topic has probably already been hashed over but some newer members may not have seen the thread(s).

    My Osprey EXOS 58 pack has a removable lid. This was meant mainly for lightening one's load and that's why Osprey provided a flap to cover the pack opening when the lid has been removed.

    But that lid is large enough for some spare clothing and food for a side trip away from camp. I'm currently working on belt loops for my lid. I'll likely use loops that have a snap at the bottom so I don't need a separate belt for it.

    Anyone else use lids as fanny packs?

    P.S. I also have an REI Lightning light day pack/stuffsack if I know the side trip will require more gear and water than I can carry in the lid.

    Michael Gunderloy
    BPL Member


    Gregory Baltoro 65 has built-in waist belt in the lid to allow just that.

    Of course, it's way too heavy for anyone on BPL to admit owning…

    Valerie E


    Locale: Grand Canyon State

    Actually, I use a removable lid as a small backpack (more comfortable for me than a fanny pack). I made MYOG shoulder straps (foam + ripstop + webbing + cordage) and the lid becomes a small daypack.

    I also MYOG'ed a cuben hybrid pack lid (haven't used it so I may sell it) — which shows that floating pack lids DON'T have to be heavy, and can do double-duty!

    Stephen M
    BPL Member


    Locale: Way up North

    The lids on McHale Packs can be used for that purpose.

    Fanny has a different meaning in Ireland so I try not to use the word.

    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    I have tried a few. In my experience, they make not very good lids, and are rather heavy at that, and they make lousy fanny packs as well.
    My 2c.


    Katherine .
    BPL Member


    Locale: pdx

    I had a bad experience years ago with my old Dana Glacier. Use the lid/belt as a fanny pack on a day hike in Scotland, Hushnish Point (?) in Lewis.

    We got back to the trailhead. Could not for the life of me find the rental car keys. Appeared to be completely gone. I assumed they had fallen out. The only other people were just leaving so we got a ride back to town with them.

    Got back to the B&B. Somehow the keys miraculously appeared on the floor. The corners of the lid must have temporarily swallowed the keys when I thought I lost them.

    Upside was we had a really great talk with the B&B keeper's husband when he drove us back to retrieve our car the next morning–a very quiet, reserved old man totally opened up.

    Anyhow. a warning on that fluke scenario of lids-as-waistpacks hiding keys. Probably less of an issue with not-so-overbuilt packs.

    Ethan A.
    BPL Member


    Locale: SF Bay Area & New England

    I've done it before by sewing loops onto the back of the lids to go over your belt or a waist belt. Works fine that way for light loads – however if you take anything a bit larger/heavier/bouncier, you may want to sew a single compression buckle and straps on each side to keep the load tight to you. Otherwise the bounce-bounce-bounce can drive you nuts.

    George F
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wasatch

    Eric, have you thought of just clipping a single strap on it to throw over your shoulder? Simple and for a short trip away from camp pretty effective.

    Earl Gilbert


    May try to rig something up with my multi-lid and talon. My Multi-lid was made from some spare Cuben Hybrid that they had lying around, so it would match my Unaweep packbag. Cuben fiber is pretty light-weight, right? ;-)

    David Thomas
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    My wife has had two packs like that. IMO, they make lousy lids and lousy fanny packs. And are too heavy.

    Get a 2.4 ounce Sea-to-Summit daypack or the cheaper 4 ounce Bear Gyrlis one off of eBay for $11. Doubles as a stuff sack, triples as a food sack, and holds more as a daypack than any fanny pack would.

    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Right there

    "Fanny has a different meaning in Ireland so I try not to use the word."

    And Bum Bag doesn't sound great on this side of the pond. Same language

    +1 with Dave Thomas.

    I'd rather wear a pack on my back than a sack on my hip.

    "Anyone else use lids as fanny packs?"

    Sure. Back when I was carrying around too much crap like a pack with a lid that could convert into a fanny pack. I just use my pack now that I have with me anyway. No additional weight.

    From Osprey

    "The Exos 58 is a top loading technical backpack designed specifically for superlight backpacking and thru hiking endeavors."

    Superlight huh, at two and a half pounds?

    Gordon Gray
    BPL Member


    Locale: Front Range, CO

    Eric, I also have the Exos 58. For the two and three night trips I take with it, I have not needed the pack lid yet and remove it before leaving. AND, it gets in the way of the bill of my hat. Even if I roll the bill up or down.
    I have used the lid of my old pack as a fanny pack to summit a peak next to base camp. While it had the perfect amount of space for an extra layer, lunch, and video camera, it was sloppy and not the most comfy. Guessing you could mod it to work better.

    The Exos is NOT a super light pack. But at 2.5lbs, it does an awesome job at carrying 30-40lbs.

    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member


    Locale: Santa Barbara

    My packs don't have lids anymore. I kind of miss them. My Osprey's lid had a zipper I could reach while I was walking. Nowadays I try to hang all these pouches and pockets from the hip belt, but they always slide off, so I try to safety pin them and tie them with string and stuff. I've been thinking of making some kind of utility belt that I wear instead of trying to attach all this to a pack. Then when I take my pack off all my stuff would be right there on my utility belt. I'd be able to carry maybe a 20oz bottle of water with me if I was going to use it for day hikes and some rolled up platypus bottles.

    Franco Darioli


    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    BTW, fanny in the UK is not the bum…., so Fat Fanny is not an expression to be used there.

    Richard May
    BPL Member


    Locale: Nature Deficit Disorder

    I use the zpacks multipack as a chest pack to carry my camera stuff. Sometimes as a shoulder bag. As a fanny it's too floppy.

    Tim Skidmore


    Locale: Canadian Atlantic coast

    +1 with Roger Caffin

    My old 90 litre pack had a fanny pack lid, it was heavy and uncomfortable, but perhaps newer ones are better. I took it off and tossed into the back of the closet.

    I have a tiny day pack that I got for $9.00 at Marks Work Warehouse that folds into a pouch only a little larger than a golf ball. It's a ton lighter and much more practical.

    royo royo


    Locale: PNW

    I have a Cilogear 45L worksack that does this. The main waistbelt is removable from the pack and the lid straps click around it. Pretty simple design and works fine. I've used it once, when I was going on short exploratory hikes from a camp where we set up for a few days. Because it uses the waistbelt from the main pack, it carries weight comfortably. The only issue is that the lid is kind of floppy and can wiggle around a bit. I wouldn't want to use it on an all day hike, but for 2-4 hours it was fine.

    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mojave Desert

    What the heck is all this about "heavy" pack lids? SHEESH? Guys, c'mon, How about the weight of the extra material needed for a roll-top closure, webbing and buckles? "Heavy lid" – REALLY?

    IMHO I need that extra lid space for my rain parka and "Lunches" gallon Ziploc bag. So it's useful space in an already smaller UL back pack.

    If I can convert the lid to a fanny pack, or as George Frazier suggested, a shoulder slung "European men's bag" (hee, hee) then I don't have to carry a light daypack along for the ride.

    "Lid compartment-as-fanny pack" seems to come under the heading or Multiple Use Gear". No?

    Osprey sent me two male QR buckle halves (free, no less) so I can make this a fanny pack or day pack with some light, narrow webbing.
    I ain't expecting great comfort, just tolerable.

    Dale Wambaugh
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Given the size of the lid, I would make a shoulder strap for it and just wear it cross-body like a messenger bag/haversack.

    In fact, I would rather wear a small shoulder bag than a small pack. It is easier to grab a camera, map, etc. The small packs ride high and the shoulder straps generally suck.

    Eric Blumensaadt
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mojave Desert


    I'm going to try the shoulder bag style first, on my early training hikes above 8.000 ft. It may be the best way to go. As you say, it means easier access to the contents.

    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    > How about the weight of the extra material needed for a roll-top closure, webbing and buckles?
    How about a silnylon throat, a 1 mm string drawcord (no plastric lock), and a silnylon or UL X-Pac cover-lid over it? I can assure you from very long experience that that combo works just fine.


    Dale Wambaugh
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    "What the heck is all this about "heavy" pack lids? SHEESH? Guys, c'mon, How about the weight of the extra material needed for a roll-top closure, webbing and buckles? "Heavy lid" – REALLY?"

    It's all compromise. My pack is my office, kitchen cupboard and gear locker and the top lid has great utility, adding to the office function. I don't like digging in my pack for small items used often on the trail and without fail migrating to the bottom. Good for you to tweak some multiple use from it.

    Stuff I often keep in my top lid:

    Camera, sunglasses, compass, snacks, first aid kit, phone/GPS, gloves, beanie, sunscreen, insect repellent, bandana, hand cleaner, notebook, pen, etc.

    Someone should offer a silnylon or cuben accessory pocket/top lid something like this:

    Accessory pocket

    Accessory pocket

    Accessory pocket

    My example is Cordura and weighs 9.6oz with the shoulder strap and holds about 5.5 liters. The military calls a bag like this a "butt pack."

    Dave Ayers


    Locale: SF Bay Area

    Dale Wambaugh wrote:
    "Someone should offer a silnylon or cuben accessory pocket/top lid something like this:"

    Zpacks makes one like that (the multi-pack 4 in 1, Its is smaller than your example at 3.5L (vs. 5.5). Mine weighs 2.5 oz. in shoulder bag trim, though the web site shows a bit lighter.

    NJ Drew
    BPL Member


    In the past I have used my Atmos 65 lid as as a fishing pack. I ordered a strap with shoulder pad from strapworks and extra buckles from Ospray (which they didn't charge me for, kudos to them) to create a sling pack. Total weight is 7oz including the lid. The strap only added 2.5oz so it worked for minimal added weight.


    For this upcoming trip I'm debating getting a Tenkara Sling Lite (6.5oz) and removing the lid from my Exos 48. I expect to have to hike 3-4 miles to fish, so a pack that will hold my rod would be helpful.

    I'm sacrificing my lid space and pack space for the Sling light, at no weight savings. Personally speaking though, I would rather that then some UL bag with a para cord strap digging into my shoulder for 4 miles. That's the trade off.

    jimmer ultralight


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